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DOJ Report: Federal Prison Camp Security Is a Joke

Guards were fooled by dummies left in beds
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2021 5:47 PM CDT

(Newser) – The fact that four inmates could leave a low-security federal prison camp in Texas to pick up whisky and have their escape undetected for more than 12 hours is a sign of major flaws in the system, according to a report from the Department of Justice. The report states that multiple escape investigations have uncovered security issues including unlocked doors, malfunctioning alarms, and missing or broken surveillance cameras, USA Today reports. It states that in the 2019 escape from the Beaumont, Texas facility, evidence "showed that the inmates who escaped may have had other inmates pose as them or placed dummies in their beds to deceive Correctional Officers during the nighttime counts." Authorities believe it wasn't the first time the inmates involved had escaped to buy contraband.

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The report issued Monday by Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz was addressed to Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal, a Trump-era appointee, Law & Crime reports. It states that the security problems at federal prison camps and satellite prison camps "present risks that inmates will escape and, if they return, smuggle contraband back into facilities undetected, which endangers the community, other BOP inmates, and correctional staff." The report made recommendations including ensuring that alarms and video cameras are working and placed in locations not susceptible to tampering. It told the BOP to report back within 60 days on what measures it has taken or intends to take. (Read more Bureau of Prisons stories.)

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